Hollie Briggs 0

Make Masks Optional at Pe Ell School

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Making masks optional for all students will give everyone the freedom to choose what is best for themselves and/or their family. Masks are not the right answer for everyone because of physical, mental and behavioral health issues that already exist or that arise because of wearing masks. Facial expressions are a huge part of learning from preschool all the way up through high school. Without seeing students facial expressions teachers may not know when a child is hurt, uncomfortable, sad, proud or happy. Not all students are vocal and do not express these things verbally. The teacher cannot properly individualize lessons if they cannot "see" how the children are doing or reacting. Peers are also unable to "read" each other making it harder to communicate, which results in confusion, anger, sadness and/or a feeling of being lost. It is also a safety hazard to not be able to see if a child's airway is constricted. Students that feel safer wearing a mask can still do so or they can opt to continue with distant learning from home. Making masks optional for all students demonstrates equality and that is a life lesson that leads to success. Making masks optional for all students in the Pe Ell School district is the right thing to do for our kids.

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